Crowds fill Louisville music halls as COVID spreads

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Jack Harlow’s Visit “No Place Like Home” presale tickets sold out within minutes, underscoring the demand for live music in Louisville.

During the pandemic, concert halls canceled or moved shows outside, but now that temperatures have dropped, five local venues, all stages of Harlow’s tour, will require proof of vaccination or a negative test before the entrance.

Harlow’s smallest stage, Zanzabar, has a maximum capacity of 350 people. Antz Wetting, co-owner of the bar, said the pandemic pains have not gone away, but are improving.

“Concert halls were known as the first to close and the last to open,” Wetting said. “Everyone who works is giving this place their buzz, you know what I mean?” Just the hustle and bustle keeps everyone going.

Paris City Hall, another Harlow stop, is the only place that requires masks to be worn at all times. Kentucky Performing Arts spokesperson Christian Adelburg said the choice was made because of the obligation to keep the community healthy.

“This is first and foremost for the safety of our guests and performers,” said Adelburg. “This is the direction the entertainment industry is taking.”

In Zanzabar, masks were recommended, but not compulsory. At a concert Thursday, staff wore face coverings, but very few masks were in the audience. One onlooker, who wished not to be named, said she avoided places that still had the requirement.

“I’m so on top of these dirty things,” she said. “I’m vaccinated, so I’m fine.”

Dr. Ken Burns, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Louisville, said wearing a mask, even if vaccinated, can help prevent the spread of COVID to unvaccinated people. He provided advice to people wishing to attend indoor shows.

“With standing-only crowds, you might want to not be standing-only,” Burns said. “Try to keep the distance. I would recommend that even if you are fully vaccinated, for an indoor location you should wear a mask.”

The premiere performance of Harlow’s tour is on December 14 at the Palace Theater.

Copyright 2021 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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